5G mobile industry to deliver A$65 billion boost to Australian economy by 2023

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association has called on the federal government to underpin the deployment of 5G, with a specific focus on the infrastructure component.

Commenting on new data released by AMTA and Deloitte Access Economics showing that with the fifth generation of mobile technologies the productivity benefits of mobile telecommunications look set to be worth A$65 billion to the Australian economy by 2023, the Association’s CEO Chris Althaus named Australia as a forerunner in terms of the rollout of 5G.

Chris Althaus, CEO, AMTA“However, we need the government to play a key role to support the deployment of infrastructure to enable an effective 5G future that benefits Australian business and society while keeping us a global frontrunner,” Althaus said.

The Mobile Nation 2019 – the 5G Future report unveiled that the mobile industry, which has grown by 43% over the last six years, is a key employer across a range of Australian industries.

“The mobile industry is an enabler of economic growth with the industry itself making a significant contribution to GDP and employment. But the full benefits are much broader as it provides new pathways for businesses to create value, supports productivity and even helps people join the labour force,” added Althaus.

The report found that the mobile sector already contributes significantly to the Australian economy, supporting about A23 billion of the nation’s GDP.  With the 5G mobile network set to kick off this year, it forecasts that the wider economic benefits of mobile will contribute more than the overall contribution of the agricultural sector – equivalent to A$2,500 value added for every Australian.

“5G will create a gradual transition to a more networked and connected society, it will shift the way Australians interact with the world and provide greater productivity benefits by streamlining businesses and transforming services to drive Australia’s economy forward,” the report authors said.

Other key findings of the report included:

  • Revenue generated by the mobile industry has also significantly grown over the last six years, up 15%, from A$22.0 billion in 2011-12 to A$25.2 billion in 2017/18.
  • Total value added to Australia’s GDP by the industry was A$22.9 billion in 2017-18, including A$8.2 billion contributed through direct activities, and A$14.7 billion supported through indirect activity in related sectors and across the broader economy.
  • The sector supports over 116,000 full-time equivalent workers, comprising over 25,000 employees directly employed by the industry and 91,200 jobs indirectly supported (nearly four more equivalent full-time roles (3.7) are supported in the economy for every one person directly employed by the industry).
  • The mobile industry is expected to account for 64% of Australian telecommunications service providers’ revenue in 2018-2019.


‘Mobile Nation 2019 – the 5G Future’ provides an economic analysis of the mobile telecommunications industry in 2017/18, using econometric modelling to estimate how the mobile industry contributes to the economy, both through its own activity and by fostering productivity more broadly. 

It also draws on findings of a bespoke nationally representative survey of over 1,000 individuals by Dynata undertaken in January 2019. Survey participants were asked about their use of mobiles, attitudes to mobile technology and their online behaviour.